Nigeria’s cargo importation via air freight declines by 70%
Nigeria’s cargo importation through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport has dropped by 70 per cent.
The causes of the drop in imported cargo, according to experts are as a result of the economic challenges confronting the country.
The president, Association of Foreign Airlines Representatives of Nigeria (AFARN), Mr Kingsley Nwokoma, who declared this while announcing this year’s AFARN summit at the cargo section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, blamed the sharp decline on what he called bad economy.
According to Nwokoma, most importers have decided to ferry their cargoes through the sea which he said was cheaper and less stressful than through air freight
“There has been a nosedive in the country generally. The number of cargo that come into the country has gone down drastically. These days, we have faster ships and the economy is responsible for the decline too,” Nwokoma added.
Importers, Nwokoma said, were taking advantage of the sea to know exactly when to use the goods and import at the right time before the date stressing that it was an alternative to air.
AFARN, however, decried the high tariff charged by various agencies at the airport, saying that Nigeria has the highest charges across the continent and that the Ease of Doing Business introduced by the government to ensure easy facilitation of business has not worked in the cargo importation.
He reiterated the call for the expansion of the cargo ramp saying that its expansion was long overdue and that the present ramp was built few years ago to accommodate small aircraft like 707, BAC 1-11, among others.
The present cargo ramp, he said can no longer take new generation aircraft as aircraft on arrival will be parked at passengers aircraft sections.
“That cargo ramp needs to be expanded because of safety, and also to encourage trade. Nigeria is no longer a hub, we have lost it to Ghana,” he said.
While urging the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to maintain safety, he called on him to look at airport infrastructure in the country, which he said is nothing to write home about
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